Tattoo culture in Japan is *quite* a bit different than it is in many Western countries. And though times may be a-changin’, with young’uns getting inked with seemingly increasing frequency, tattoes are still mostly considered to be a yakuza thing.
Of course, that’s a vast generalization—plenty of non-yakuza have them, too, particularly those whose work life won’t be affected by clients/co-workers/bosses who look down their noses at a bit of colour.
Various subcultures are also tattoo-friendly, including—not surprisingly—surfer culture. Lots of tribal tattoos and barbed arm bands around here, despite the tattoo ban at beaches in Kanagawa Prefecture.
This photo was taken at one of those beaches–the Zaimokuza side of Yuigahama Beach—at an annual festival. Clearly, rules can be bent for tradition.
As for the festival itself, it was fantastic. Two mikoshi battled it out in the ocean, with a bakery of buns on display. I’ll post more photos in the next few weeks.